In this article, you will learn what intermittent fasting is, whether it’s good for you, and what the experts have to say.
Most diets we know about focus on restricting certain food groups/types or amounts, but intermittent fasting shifts the focus from what to eat to when to eat. Intermittent fasting diets cut down the number of calories you consume with scheduled periods o where you do not eat anything. With intermittent fasting, you choose an “eating window” of 8 to 12 hours, during which you can eat whatever you want (although healthy diet choices are still recommended of course). For the remaining hours, usually including when you are asleep, you fast.
Other diets encourage fasting days. Similar to daily intermittent fasting, these diets allow you to eat whatever you want during your non-fasting days. On the days you choose to fast, you severely limit your calorie intake. Some diets encourage you to eat 500 calories or fewer on your fasting days; others say to avoid any food or drinks with calories. Beverages without calories, such as water or black coffee, are permitted. Scheduled fasting days can range from twice a week to every other day.
Fans of intermittent fasting claim it helps with weight loss, mental clarity and focus, and other health benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.
CAN INTERMITTENT FASTING HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
It can lower your body’s insulin levels, which allows your cells to release stored fat. Your body then burns the fat as energy, and you lose weight.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS TO INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Research suggests intermittent fasting can slow down the aging process or combat heart disease, but that research is inconclusive. One study published in Cell Metabolism showed that patients with metabolic syndrome were able to lose weight and lower their blood pressure by using a daily intermittent fasting schedule, allowing for a 10-hour eating window followed by a 14-hour fast. However, the study was very small, with only 19 participants.
There is so much we do not know about intermittent fasting, such as long-term benefits, which type of fast is best. Because of this, adopt it cautiously, Learn what intermittent fasting is, whether it will be good for you, and what the experts have to say on it. Get the green light from your primary health care professional, especially if there are any existing health conditions. Fasting is just not for everybody.
A daily, 12-hour eating window and 12-hour fast is safe for most people to attempt but otherwise, there are still important things we need to learn.
If you think you might benefit from intermittent fasting, speak with your trainer/nutritionist/doctor who can help you create a plan to meet your specific needs and goals.